Before a standing-room only crowd, representatives from city administration outlined the proposal to expand the center to better serve the growing 50-and-over population in the city.
"In a competitive environment, to remain the same is to regress," said Parks and Recreation Director Greg Esler. "The time is now for the Senior Center expansion."Architect John Vitale presented the proposed three-phase plan which would include a new 2,600 square-foot expansion of the fitness center to include a walking track with workout equipment; an expanded locker room; modifications to the kitchen along with creating a cafe-type atmosphere; additional storage; a covered drop-off area and a new glass front.
The estimated cost of the expansion and renovation is $1 million, with possible funding sources coming from a federal government loan that would be repaid with Community Block Development Grant funds, or using a portion of block grant funds from the coming three years.
The current center hosts a variety of services including fitness classes; helping hands services for seniors; computer classes; crafts; the only on-site chef in Macomb County who provides fresh meals; expanded hours during the week and shuttle during the weekend along with community events.
Mayor Kip Walby stated the next steps in the project will be to "firm up" the costs of the equipment and furnishings, along with financing for the project, before the proposal returns to City Council for consideration.